INTENTIONAL PRACTICES: Using Hypotheses to Develop Good Habits

In order to be agile and adaptive, leaders need to spend a percentage of their time developing good leadership practices.

 If you approach your world of work with a testing mindset, Then you will become clearer about what you are trying to accomplish and have a means to evaluate the effectiveness of your actions.


Intentional Practices

Intentional practice is a systematic and structured approach that helps you develop good habits. In other words, it is a practice that helps you develop good practices. Become clear about what you want to accomplish, plan a strategy to test it, evaluate what worked and what didn’t, make quick adjustments, refine it over time and decide what warrants further testing.



If you adopt a “let’s try it and see what happens” attitude into your everyday practice then will you embed a testing mindset into your work. To become intentional about testing you will need to formulate a hypothesis. A simple hypothesis can be expressed in the form of an If: Then statement that describes “what you will do” and predicts “what you think will happen.”


After you have tested your practice at work for days or weeks, ask yourself the following questions as a means to evaluate:

  • Did it get what I thought it would?
  • Did it generate positive results?
  • Did it get a new benefit I hadn’t thought of?
  • Can it be scaled up?

If it didn’t work:

  • Was it the method or approach?
  • Was it the idea itself?
  • Should I test a revised If: Then statement?
  • Should I pull the plug?

How are your leadership practices working for you?
If you formulate hypotheses about your practices, what will it get you?
Can you introduce new leadership practices differently?

Credit: Worley, C., & Williams, T., & Lawler, E. (2014) The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance. Jossey-Bass.


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